Last week was perhaps the busiest week of my year. Not only did I have 4 gigs, 3 meetings and one interview, I was also teaching the “Rock Band 101” class at the EMP|SFM in Seattle. I teach 3 sessions of this class each summer, where we bring together 15 teens and teach them how to be a band. I have 2 assistant teachers, but it’s still a draining experience dealing with that many teens all day. But it’s a blast, and this group was probably the most well-behaved and motivated group yet.
We split them into 3 groups of 5 and they learned covers like AC/CD’s “Back in Black”, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Dani California”, and even Michael Jackon’s “Beat It”. They also each wrote an original tune, and had a blow-out performance for their families and friends on Friday afternoon. It was a blast! While it is a tiring week, it’s also quite exhilarating to be around all that energy and all that Rock ‘n’ Roll! And there’s nothing more gratifying than seeing those kids living their dream at the performance.
This is yet another thing I do to make a living as a musician. Teaching is a great way to supplement your income while giving something back. Some of my working musician friends are good at private lessons, and teach 5-30 students a week. That was never my forte, but I’ve always enjoyed teaching classes. I like seeing a group of kids who don’t know eachother transform into a collaborative, cooperating band. I teach for another wonderful organization as well, The Right Brain Center for the Arts.